Luxury retailer Bloomingdale’s has yanked a t-shirt reading “Fake News” from their stores, after a journalist called them out on Twitter, sparking a massive backlash.
Allison Kaden, a reporter for New York channel PIX11, tweeted a picture of the yellow, weathered-looking t-shirt after spotting it on a mannequin inside Bloomingdales’ White Plains, NY outlet.
Not only was the shirt not “funny or fashionable,” Kaden scolded, but it “further delegitimizes hard working journalists who bring REAL news to their communities.”
By Monday morning, with over a thousand comments and retweets on Kaden’s post, Bloomingdale’s caved, apologizing “for any offense we may have caused” and “working quickly to remove this t-shirt.” The repugnant raiment was “immediately removed from our selling floor,” a spokesperson told Fox News, apologizing “to anyone who found this t-shirt distressing.”
Thank you for bringing this to our attention and we apologize for any offense we may have caused. We take this feedback very seriously and are working quickly to remove this t-shirt. Again, thank you for taking the time to alert us.
— Bloomingdale’s (@Bloomingdales) February 11, 2019
But – perhaps unsurprisingly, given recent events – that wasn’t good enough for some media figures. Pamela Wood, a Baltimore Sun reporter, piled on, accusing the high-end department store of “damage done to our democracy.”
Hi, @bloomingdales. Apologizing “for any offense we may have caused” is not a sincere apology. This is not about journalists’ hurt feelings. This is about damage done to our democracy when your brand joins in perpetuating and celebrating the idea of “fake news.” Please try again.
— Pamela Wood (@pwoodreporter) February 11, 2019
While a few voices reminded Wood that “fake news” was injected into the discourse by journalists themselves during the 2016 election…
You have a short memory. The media coined the term ‘fake news’ during the 2016 Election. It wasn’t until Trump started using it against the media that it became verboten.
— WillFromTheInternet (@wwwilldotcom) February 11, 2019
Hi @Bloomingdales. Don’t run your business based on social media outrage which are usually anyway short term and are mostly not from your real clients. Besides, real journalists are proud to denounce FakeNews. In fact, they created this term against Trump’s FakeNews of 2016.
— Yossi Gestetner (@YossiGestetner) February 12, 2019
…most people piled on to ridicule Bloomingdale’s for “caving in to online rage mobs.”
Dumbest thing ever. Why are you caving to online rage mobs?
— Steph (@steph93065) February 12, 2019
Are these the new rules now? We can go to dept stores, snap pics of clothing that “hurts our feelings”, post it online & demand it be taken off shelves? Cool, we can put designers out of business that we don’t agree with. smh #Bloomingdales
— Deplorable KK Berd👠 (@keny_berd) February 12, 2019
In other words, @Bloomingdales:
They’ll never be happy with anything you say, so you may as well keep selling the t-shirts.
— Sean The Producer (@SeanTheProducr) February 12, 2019
Others found themselves lusting after the controversy-tainted garment…
Remove it?? Shoot…you’d better ramp up your production of that shirt because you’re about to get a massive number of requests for it. This outrage never works out the way they want it to. https://t.co/mctAiguVUE
— Joseph Gonzales (@joseph11ag) February 11, 2019
I hope Bloomingdales is paying attention, lol. They’ll need to triple their production.
— Paul A. Marketos (Code Name: Shadow) (@ShadowWarriorPM) February 12, 2019
Removing the shirt offends me. Will you take this feedback seriously? Will you apologize to me, and work quickly to reinstate the shirt?
— A Cut Rate Parasite (@MonsieurUgarte) February 12, 2019
…so much so that one person wondered if they hadn’t just fallen for a really clever marketing campaign.
Commenters wondered at the psychology of who might censor a t-shirt.
These people have never been challenged or called out for their BS reporting/stories like thaey have the past 2 years. Therefore they lash out like a big spoiled child due t the shock. “How dare you question me, I’m the news.”
— EROCK (@Notobolshevism) February 12, 2019
The blue check mark bullies at it again
— Rob McShane 🇺🇸 (@robmdiesel) February 11, 2019
You literally tried to stop freedom of expression as a journalist who depends on that very right to do her job, and now you’re dragging your critics for not being “the best, most thoughtful.” Unbelievable.
— Mary Strow (@marylanestrow) February 12, 2019
Many agreed that Twitter’s most recent capitulation to angry journalists had set a dangerous precedent,
They should learn to c*de.
— (((Daniele Napolitano))) (@nabuccodenazzar) February 12, 2019
and at least one suggested giving Wood a taste of her own medicine.
Wow, seems like there are quite a few thin skinned journalists. Perhaps too close to the truth for comfort? Subscribers should boycott @baltimoresun for their reporter censoring Bloomingdales
— Governor2B Gunston (@GunstonNova) February 12, 2019
…though her friends, at least, assured her she was fighting the good fight.
You do great work. The higher you rise, the harder the zombies will try to damage your structure and to tear down your walls. That’s life.
Ironically, that’s also World War Z.
— MolotovFlicker Ignoring Your Questions Since 1902® (@MolotovFlicker) February 11, 2019
There’s actually precedent for pulling a ‘fake news’ garment from the shelves, though the retailer that did so has since closed down. Washington, DC’s Newseum quit selling a ‘fake news’ t-shirt in August after outcry from journalists, who claimed the shirt echoed President Donald Trump’s attacks on the press. The Newseum will close at the end of this year. Bloomingdale’s beware.
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